Kyle Busch came from the 32nd starting position to win his third straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway.
Busch joins Kevin Harvick winning three straight races in the first nine races of the 2018 season. The last driver time that happened in the same year was 2015 when Busch and Joey Logano turned the three-peat.
“We’ve won three in a row, we did it a couple of years ago,” Busch said. “I don’t know if you can shoot for four in a row. It’s hard to go to Talladega with that much of a winning streak and think you can go to Victory Lane.”
Busch scored the 46th win of his Cup career (See All Time Winners).
“The pit crew tonight won this race for us,” he said. “They got us off first those last two times we came down pit road and got us where we needed to be.”
Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Logano rounded out the top five.
Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez completed the first 10 finishers.
Logano won the first two stages of the night (See Stage Points).
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now heads to Talladega Superspeedway next Sunday.
How Busch Won: A late pit stop proved to be the move to seal the deal for Busch. He came off pit road with the top spot after a fast stop and was able to maintain the lead in the overtime shootout to the checkered flag after getting the jump on Hamlin when the green flag flew to restart the race to its finish.
Who Had a Good Day: Hamlin matched his best finish of 2018 set in the Daytona 500…Logano has finished in the top-four in the last three races at Richmond and top-10 in the last nine (Read More)…Harvick has finished top 10 in seven of the last eight races of 2018.
Who Had a Bad Day: Martin Truex Jr. led the most laps (121) but finished 14th and remains winless on a short track during his Cup career (Read More)…Ryan Newman made contact with the wall in the late going and was eliminated with 37th-place finish…Daniel Hemric made his Cup debut but had a difficult night to finish 32nd.
What Else Happened: The first two-thirds of the race were rather uneventful. That changed in the final 100 laps. A series of caution flags bunched up the field and threw attention to pit road where teams decided whether to gamble by staying on track or taking two tires for track position. As it turned out it was Busch and the No. 18 team that prevailed on the “money stop” and he was able to keep the number one position he held off pit road on the final visit to Victory Lane…Teammates Jamie McMurray and Larson traded paint under caution on Lap 369 after McMurray hit the wall when Kurt Busch crowded him up the track (Read More).
Quotable: “Circumstances were on our side tonight, which is not normal, so I’m happy about that,” second -lace finisher Chase Elliott (Read More).
Notable: Busch had never won a Cup race starting further back than the 30th position…There were zero cautions for incident in first 354 laps with four in last 48…This was the second race in 2018 to end in overtime.